Mixed Pop Groups & Duos Rate • #11 • “A touch of eurodance” | Page 5 | The Popjustice Forum

Mixed Pop Groups & Duos Rate • #11 • “A touch of eurodance”

Discussion in 'Charts, rates etc' started by Doodvid, May 31, 2021.


Which decade will provide our winning song?

Poll closed Jul 13, 2021.
  1. 1970s

    0 vote(s)
  2. 1980s

    0 vote(s)
  3. 1990s

    11 vote(s)
  4. 2000s

    9 vote(s)
  5. 2010s+

    1 vote(s)
  1. Ashley - it was posted on the “official” Deuce Instagram page (which I think is solely run by Craig) and he commented on it. Also - he was mentioned in a podcast interview with Craig several years ago.
    idratherjack likes this.
  2. Peter was a fan but yes it was definitely unreleased. There were originally two girls in the group before one left. They did a couple of showcases in London but I guess they were never signed up. They had a few other original songs but this was the standout - and the only one I've got in studio version. Someone sent it to me only a couple years ago.

    She was called Suzanne.
    Doodvid and Mvnl like this.
  3. Just remembered another group

    Ezz, Conan, Untouchable Ace and 3 others like this.
  4. And Six-D with their minor hit from about 10 years ago

    And this, which is my Holy Grail - if anyone has a studio version of this please let me know!!!

    Ezz, Doodvid and Mvnl like this.
  5. Every shot of this performance is emblazoned in my memory because it was the 2nd song on my special music VHS when I was 8 years old which I watched over and over.

    It followed Real McCoy's Run Away and it's the best 6 minutes of TOTP that exists.

  6. Oh My God!!! I've been waiting for a studio version of this since forever (well, 2009). Thank you so much!
  7. From deep within my dusty Deuce vault I lie - it’s an absolutely pristine shrine is a print out of a news story posted on Popjustice.com v3.5 back in March 2003 (the same week Dannii Minogue was threatening the #1 spot with ‘I Begin To Wonder’)

    Mr PJ himself Peter Robinson claimed to have a cassette of songs that would have formed Deuce’s second album with London Records had they not been dropped:


    The purported tracklist itself wasn’t served well by the printer I was using at the time (at a primary school in Bristol where I was meant to be planning lessons and preparing swathes of resources for 7 year olds...oops) so have a squint here:


    From what I can make out, it was meant to be:

    1. Don’t Push Me
    2. Changing My Mind
    3. Knock The Disco (which surfaced as the demo ‘Rock The Disco’)
    4. Trouble
    5. Free In My Love/Soul?
    6. Heavens Above
    7. By Your Side
    8. I Ain’t Sorry
    9. When You Love Somebody
    10. Don’t Leave Me Now
    11. My Word
    12. I’ve Got It

    Whether or not this was real was never proven and considering our Lord & Master is quite happy to let the forum drown beneath a tsunami of mobile ads and members tears these days, I doubt we’ll ever find out...but wow, would it be great to hear these!

    Also from the “vault”:


    You’re welcome.

    Last edited: Jun 7, 2021
  8. Swoon! Craig really was a beautiful man. One of my all time biggest pop crushes. When I met him in the flesh at an HMV signing I came over all queer!
    Ezz, WowWowWowWow, Doodvid and 2 others like this.
  9. [​IMG]

    One of my favourite pictures of Deuce - if only they had won Song For Europe 1995. To this day I can't believe bloody Love City Groove beat them. I Need You was perfect for Eurovision!
    Ezz, WowWowWowWow, phoenix123 and 3 others like this.
  10. Boom!

    Ezz, Mvnl, idratherjack and 1 other person like this.
  11. Started listening to the playlist and the whiplash I experienced going from BeFour and Bro'Sis to Cherona and ChipZ

    Ezz, saviodxl, Conan and 3 others like this.
  12. Apologies for the lack of updates/promo/pop group amazingness. Work hit me like a truck this week emotionally & mentally & physically.


    ...and will hopefully get on top of this real soon.
  13. Ezz



    The factfile!

    Members: Ian H Watkins, Claire Richards
    Origins: The break up of their former band Steps followed by the creation of the duo
    Years active: 2002 (and one disastrous gig at Disney in early 2003)
    Singles: 3 (1 of which was a double A side)
    Albums: 1

    Moment in the spotlight: Their first single DJ getting to number 3 in the UK charts

    Despite a book (Claire’s All of Me), several TV shows discussing the split (Totally Scott Lee, H Side Story, and of course Steps Reunion) I still think this is one of the most intriguing acts in the rate. The story of the Steps breakup has been documented loads, but the actual impetus behind H and Claire’s creation is a bit of a mystery to me. Some say the project had been long planned, with H and Claire having their own show with Steps to the Stars, and the B-side to Steps’ penultimate single from the first era Chain Reaction written with the amazing Steve Anderson:

    Personally, I’m not convinced that this was a masterplan in the works by management or H and Claire themselves, as there were a fair few mis-steps and contradictions. Was the concept market tested? Did the immediate post-Steps timescale not ring alarm bells? And most importantly, what was the H and Claire sound? This started very surprisingly for me with the first single DJ, with the disco synth sound prominent. An attempt to plug into the zeitgeist possibly and it did score them their only top 5 hit, but I’ve not sure it quite feels authentic:

    Where I do think the duo started to find their own feet was in the second single Half a Heart. This was definitely a newer, moodier sonic direction for the duo, away from immediately catchy hooks while maintaining a strong singalong chorus. The more pared back video helped set the aesthetic too:

    Half a Heart debuted at number 8 on the charts, dropping to 29 the following week. This led to their management team adding ‘All Out of Love’ to the album recording fairly late on in the process. According to Claire's book, H & Claire wanted to carry on down the ‘Half a Heart’ route but management thought ‘All Out of Love’ would have more success. At least the idea of them recording ‘You’re the One that I Want’ didn’t happen!

    Released with a double A-side re-recording of ‘Beauty and the Beast’, ‘All Out of Love’ was released on 10 November. It featured a gorgeous video set across two time periods, but it’s possible that the song was just too much of a Steps echo at the time:

    Together with lacklustre promotion, their album ‘Another You Another Me’ limped in at number 58 the following week, with the project coming to an end in early 2003 following some final promotional appearances:

    The album is a bit of an echo of the project in general, as it’s difficult to carve out an overall identity and there are possibly a few too many ballads. As Claire captures in her book, if more time had been taken post-split to plan a strategy, it may have been possible to have been more successful, either as a duo or solo. Or maybe it was just timing, with pop’s moment in the sun setting by the end of 2002? There are absolute moments of brilliance on there, both in terms of wistful pop and ballads, and it would be amazing (but probably not realistic given Steps are now active again) if some of the album could be performed live - we got a taste of this with Claire performing ‘All Out of Love’ on her solo tour.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on H&Claire, and some more recommended listening beyond the rate will be following later today!
  14. The fatal flaw in the whole H & Claire campaign was expecting the same gays whose Christmas they had ruined to buy their singles just a few months later! I was and still am a huge Steps fan but didn't buy any of their music at the time bar All Out Of Love (which is obviously the best thing they ever did).

    I did download their album a few years ago long after the dust had settled and it really is far too ballad heavy and a dull listen overall. This Matt Pop remix of the title track is all kinds of amazing though

  15. According to rumours at the time, H & Claire were seriously approached by the BBC to represent the UK at Eurovision in 2003 but turned it down due to the weak material being offered their way.

    Surely no coincidence we then have Jemini, a bargain basement H & C clone if ever there was, pop up with ‘Cry Baby’ that year...
  16. Ezz


    Absolutely, and the Internet had taken off a bit too...reading through the Generation Steps archive, some of the forum posts and press was brutal
  17. I can only begin to imagine the carnage on here had Popjustice existed back then!
  18. Mvnl

    Mvnl Staff Member

    I'm not sure how much I knew about their part in breaking up the band back then?
    I did enjoy the album for being 'the closest thing to getting more Steps music' at the time.
  19. Funny you should say that:

    But the best one:

    berserkboi, Ezz and idratherjack like this.
  20. They also gave us one of the best Almighty mixes of all time

    I love that they are so pitched up by the end that they sound like chipmunks!
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